Oscars Deliver Highest Viewing In 4 Years

Boosted by strong interest in summer 2023 theatrical blockbuster movies, ABC's “The 96th Academy Awards” telecast grew 4% to 19.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, over last year.

The event also posted the strongest results in four years. Nielsen says the show earned a 3.81 rating among adult 18-49 viewers.

This year’s Oscar show featured a special musical segment from “Barbie,” the mega-blockbuster hit from Warner Bros.  

Universal Pictures’ huge summer hit film “Oppenheimer” was also a major draw for TV viewers. The movie went on to win seven Oscar awards, including Best Picture. 

The prime-time awards show pulled in $122.7 million in national TV advertising revenues, according to estimates from EDO Ad EnGage -- from 63 commercials airings, yielding 1.25 billion impressions.



Last year’s event had 51 commercial airings totaling an estimated $118.8 million.

The highest-spending brands this year include Allstate, Infiniti, Carnival Cruise Lines, Neutrogena, Bank of America, and Verizon Wireless. 

Movie studios advertising in the event included Sony Pictures (“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire”); United Artists (“Challengers’); Universal Pictures (“The Wild Robot”); Walt Disney (“Inside Out 2”); and Lionsgate Films (“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”).

TV advertising research company Guideline says equivalized 30-second commercial spots for this year’s Oscars were priced at $1.37 million  -- 18% more than last year’s total of $1.16 million.

By comparison, CBS’ “Grammys” event earlier this year had equivalized 30-second spots priced at $603,000 -- up 33% versus a year ago.

The Guideline "Pool" reflects agency media buys across all six major U.S. agency holding companies and leading independent agencies, skewing to major national brand advertisers.

This story has been updated.

3 comments about "Oscars Deliver Highest Viewing In 4 Years".
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  1. Thomas Siebert from BENEVOLENT PROPAGANDA, March 12, 2024 at 12:03 p.m.

    Sunday's Oscars drew 19.5 million viewers and a 3.8 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic. The 2023 Oscars drew 18.8 million viewers and a 4.0 rating in preferred demo.

    That would mean the 2024 Oscars rose just under 4% in total viewers from last year, but fell 5% in the key demo. 

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 12, 2024 at 2:59 p.m.

    From a reseach standpoint, and these are surveys after all, not some sort of census,  there was no change in the Oscar's average minute audience levels. it was basically the same both years---about 19 million viewers supposedly "watched" an average commercial minute. As for the "key" group---the 18-49s--- why do we keep harping on this minority segment? Why not tell us the median age of the supposed commercial audience?I'm not blaming you Wayne---just the way the stats are pump out and the over reliance  on data that often isn't very illuminating. Here's an example. How did this year's Oscar's special compare to last year's in terms of holding power? What percentage of its household  audience watched the entire show? How many tuned out during the show? etc. etc.

  3. Steve Sternberg from The Sternberg Report, March 12, 2024 at 3:27 p.m.

    Part of the reason is that for the first time the Big Four award presentations were measured by Nielsen. Previously, awards given after 11pm were not rated nationally because it was all local commercials. 

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